US automaker debuts live in-car television ahead of Chicago show

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Chrysler has unveiled mobile television in its 2010 model year vehicles ahead of the Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the media on Wedsnesday, February 10.

The automaker is the first in the US to offer live, mobile TV in vehicles, which are normally restricted to playing DVDs. It means that passengers will be able to view a wide range of channels on the go, including programming from ABC, CBS, CNBC, Disney, Fox, ESPN, MSNBC and Nickelodeon. Wireless remote controls will be available to change the channel.

"We are the first automaker in the United States to offer live, mobile TV in more than 100 metropolitan markets," said Pietro Gorlier from Chrysler. "Live, mobile TV gives our customers the ultimate in entertainmen.t"

The challenge for mobile TV has historically been to deliver high-quality, uninterrupted coverage in urban environments and at highway speeds. Jeep's system uses a dedicated signal provider and a small roof-mounted aerial to make the service available in more than 100 major metropolitan markets and many interstate driving corridors, although the company warns that it is not available in some rural areas.

The price will be $629 plus installation for a one-year contract, and it will be available in eight 2010 model-year vehicles: Chrysler Town & Country, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey, Dodge Nitro, Ram 1500 and Ram 2500/3500.

In 2009, market intelligence analyst iSuppli said that it believed in-car television systems would double globally by 2015 as the broadcasting infrastructure improved. In 2009, it estimated that around 8 million car television systems would be shipped.

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